Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Farshad Haqi


Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: November 24, 2015
Location of Killing: Raja’i Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison, Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 22

About this Case

Mr. Haqi was a funny, sociable, and empathetic family man who loved his wife and child very much and planned for the future of his family.

News and information regarding the execution of Mr. Farshad Haqi, son of Hossein, was obtained through interviews conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center with three of his acquaintances on May 19, 2019, June 13, 19, and 26, 2019, and July 6, 2019. News of this execution was also published in Iran newspaper (November 25, 2015), Javan Online website (November 25, 2015), and HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency (November 24, 2015). Additional information regarding this execution was obtained from Iran Human Rights Organization (December 14, 2015). 

Mr. Haqi was born on May 26, 1984, in Shahr-e Rey, in southern Tehran Province. He had a high school diploma. He worked for a time as a welder, and subsequently became a road construction contractor with his father. He was married and had a child. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and July 6, 2019; Iran Human Right Organization).

Mr. Haqi was a funny, sociable, and empathetic family man who loved his wife and child very much and planned for the future of his family. He liked bodybuilding and liked travelling and spending time with his friends in his spare time. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and July 6, 2019). 

Mr. Haqi’s case is related to the death of an individual during an altercation on September 10, 2006. 

Arrest and detention

According to available information, on September 11, 2006, Mr. Haqi turned himself over to the Police 110, and was arrested by the Shahr-e Rey’s Dolatabad [neighborhood] police at the home of one of his relatives in Tehran’s District 18. He was first transferred to the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Shahpur Street Precinct and was detained there for about a month. According to the person interviewed by the Boroumand Center, Mr. Haqi was tortured during that period. While Mr. Haqi was at the detention center, a number of the officers there suggested on several occasions to his family and relatives that they should pay them bribes in order to change the circumstances of Mr. Haqi’s case and reduce the charge against him.  However, his family refused to do so because of their moral values and because they believed that what had happened was an “accident” and that Mr. Haqi deserved to be forgiven. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, June 13, and July 6, 2019; Iran Human Right Organization). 

Mr. Haqi was transferred to [the city of] Karaj’s Rajaishahr Prison in the fall of 2006. A person who knew Mr. Haqi described his mental condition in the first days of his arrival at the prison as “really awful”, and said: “He was kind of lost and confused for a while, and didn’t even know how to make contact with the outside.” Mr. Haqi contacted his family for the first time about two months after his arrest. Less than six months after the arrest, he had a cabin visitation with his family. His child was approximately 2 months old at the time. For the following 9 years that he spent in jail, Mr. Haqi called his family almost regularly, 2 or 3 times a week, had cabin visitations with them once a month, and had in-person visitations with them every 3 or 4 months. For approximately 5 years after his arrest and before his wife asked for a divorce, he had conjugal visits with her every 2 to 3 months. According to the person who knew Mr. Haqi, the in-person visitations took place in a very small space shared with a multitude of other prisoners and their families; none of the families had enough private space nor the possibility to talk to each other in peace. According to this person, during Mr. Haqi’s incarceration, prisoners did not even have the possibility of close contact with family members during in-person visitations. This person also noted the prison guards’ mistreatment of prisoners, including Mr. Haqi, in front of their families. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 26, 2019). 

During his incarceration, Mr. Haqi was taken into solitary confinement on numerous occasions for anywhere between several days to a week, for various reasons such as being in possession of a cell phone or being in a scuffle.  He did not have the opportunity to inform his family that he was being taken to solitary, and he would sometimes send messages to them through his ward mates. Persons who knew Mr. Haqi described him as “antagonistic, tense, and withdrawn” after every stint in solitary. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019). 

Mr. Haqi had gotten “tired” of his case being pending and at a standstill during his incarceration and especially in the final months, and had submitted several written requests asking for a resolution. (Boroumand Center interview, July 6, 2019). 

During his phone conversations and visitations, Mr. Haqi had constantly complained about the conditions in prison including hygiene, food, and security. He had also said that the prisoners had to pay for the heating and air conditioning system in various prison wards, and people like him, who did not have much money, could not enjoy the amenities. He had also talked about the existence of drugs in various prison wards. Mr. Haqi complained about the prison being overcrowded and had told people around him: “My wish is to spend just a few days in a peaceful setting. Here, there is never a moment of peace.” (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019). 

Up until the last year of incarceration, Mr. Haqi hoped that he would be released, and continued to do bodybuilding in prison. According to a person who knew Mr. Haqi, he had kept his muscular body in perfect shape until the last visitation, “but that day, it was obvious that he had gained a few extra pounds”. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 26, 2019). 

On November 22, 2015, Mr. Haqi visited with several of his sisters and brothers for the last time while handcuffed and in shackles. His family did not know until the very last minute that that would be their final visitation. (Boroumand Center interview, June 26, 2019).


The Shar-e Rey Prosecutor’s Office opened the case against Mr. Haqi, and Criminal Court Branch 74 tried him. There is no information regarding the number of trial sessions in Mr. Haqi’s case. According to a person who knew Mr. Haqi, he had convulsions due to excessive stress and anxiety and was shaking during one of the trial sessions, but the judge did not allow him to either sit down or speak. Mr. Haqi would usually laugh when he became anxious and this very fact caused the judge to treat him very badly in court.  Mr. Haqi’s family was present in the first trial sessions; he did not, however, inform them of the dates of the subsequent hearings because of his parents’ illness, and in order to prevent them from getting upset at seeing him in handcuffs and shackles. Mr. Haqi had a court-appointed attorney only in the first trial session. In the first trial session, Mr. Haqi had a heated verbal exchange with his friends who had come to court to testify. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019; Iran newspaper).


Mr. Haqi was charged with “murder”. (Iran newspaper). 

Mr. Haqi and several of his friends had been invited to a wedding in the evening of September 20, 2006. According to persons who knew Mr. Haqi, he and the murder victim, who was one of his closest friends and a remote family relative, were riding on the back of two different motorcycles and were part of the convoy escorting the bride and groom. According to an account quoting Mr. Haqi himself, the two bikers got into an accident on the way, which resulted in a fight between them and their passengers, Mr. Haqi and the murder victim. A short while later, the fight continued in front of the bride and groom’s home and turned into a group altercation among about 15 of the wedding guests. The murder victim was severely injured when a broken bottle hit him in the neck. Mr. Haqi had stated that he had bought the beverage from a supermarket prior to the mass altercation. A person who knew Mr. Haqi told the Boroumand Center: “His goal for having the soda bottle was not to hit the victim but to just scare him.” (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, 2019).

Mr. Haqi was accused of committing a murder that had occurred in a group altercation. However, none of the people who were present at the fight with him was prosecuted. 

Official media characterized the murder as an intentional murder that occurred at a “sudden fight that broke out in front of the bride and groom’s home”. According to these sources, on the wedding night, Mr. Haqi “hit a 20-year-old young man who was a guest at the wedding with a soda bottle. On the night of their relative’s wedding, the two had escorted the wedding convoy on motorcycles, and had suddenly gotten into fight by the bride and groom’s home, and Farshid had murdered his friend”. (Iran newspaper; Javan Online website). 

Mr. Haqi and his friends took the victim to the clinic but then had to take him to the hospital for medical attention. The victim died at the hospital. After the victim died, the Shahpur Avenue Criminal Investigations police officers arrested everyone present at the altercation with the exception of Mr. Haqi who had spent the night at the home of one of his relatives on the outskirts of town. The day after the incident, and following Mr. Haqi’s arrest, the others were released. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019). 

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.  International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges, including drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences, against their opponents (including political, civil society activists, as well as unionists and ethnic and religious minorities). Each year Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted and executed based on trumped-up charges is unknown. 

Evidence of guilt

The testimony of several people present at the scene of the altercation, and Mr. Haqi’s confession were used against him as evidence at trial. Furthermore, several days after his arrest, Mr. Haqi was taken to the scene of the crime where he re-constructed the murder. According to people who knew Mr. Haqi, the Medical Examiner’s Office had confirmed that Mr. Haqi had been drunk at the time of the incident. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019). 


In a phone call to one of his close friends immediately after the incident, thereafter in court, and in conversations he had with his family members, Mr. Haqi had stated numerous times that he had been drunk at the time of the murder and did not remember the details of the event, and was not sure that he was the one who had inflicted the fatal blow to the victim. He had also emphasized that what had happened was a tragic accident and that he did not have any prior intentions [to commit murder]. Mr. Haqi had also stated numerous times that all the people who were present at the altercation and later testified against him in court were drunk at the time of the incident and their testimony could not be accurate. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, June 13, and July 6, 2019; Iran Human Rights Organization). 

A person who knew Mr. Haqi stated that “he did not put up much of a defense” in court. Furthermore, Mr. Haqi did not bring a complaint against his friends who he believed were present at the fight. He had said to persons close to him in that regard: “Everything [all the evidence] is stacked up against me. For them to spend some time in jail isn’t going to help my case any.” Nevertheless, he had expressed sadness [and displeasure] at the fact that his friends who were with him in the fight that ended in murder “had left him alone”. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, June 13, and July 6, 2019). 

Stating that Mr. Haqi had confessed to the occurrence of the murder, his attorney appeared in court only at the first session and withdrew from his defense for the remainder of the trial. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, 2019). 

A Summary of the Legal Defects in Mr. Farshad Haqi’s Adjudication

According to available information, Mr. Farshad Haqi had consumed alcohol on the day of the event. The amount of alcohol he had consumed was so much that he had forgotten the details of the event and had doubts as to whether he was the one who had struck the victim with the final blow or not. Although Mr. Haqi confessed to the murder and several of the people present also testified against him, his state of drunkenness was also well established, to such an extent that the court sentenced him to flogging for “consumption of alcohol”. Pursuant to Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code, “committing murder while drunk shall be punishable by Qesas unless it can be proven that the murderer had lost control of his faculties as a result of the drunkenness, and could not have formed intent, and had not intended to get drunk for the purpose of committing murder. In the event that the perpetrator’s action disrupts public order, creates apprehension in the public, or emboldens him/her or others, said perpetrator shall be punished by 3 to 10 years imprisonment.” Although the simple act of drinking alcohol and being drunk does not remove or eliminate responsibility, it seems that it was necessary to conduct further specialized investigations to determine whether or not the murderer had lost control of his faculties at the time of the murder, because he and the victim were friends and had no serious issues with each other. The mass altercation also indicates that a group of young individuals had gotten into a fight in an excited state and under the influence of alcohol. These types of altercations usually occur without any prior motive and are a result of being in an unnatural state.  It seems, however, that the court had not paid much attention to the issue of the murderer’s control of his faculties in the commission of the murder. 


Criminal court Branch 74 sentenced Mr. Farshad Haqi to 200 lashes on the charge of “drunkenness”, and to death on the charge of murder. The death sentence was upheld by Supreme Court Branch 28. (Iran newspaper). 

In the morning of November 23, 2015, Mr. Farshad Haqi and four other individuals were hanged in Karaj’s Rajaishahr Prison. (Iran newspaper, HRANA website, Boroumand Center interview with individuals who knew Mr. Haqi). 

Mr. Haqi’s flogging sentence had been carried out approximately one year prior to his hanging. (Boroumand Center interview, June 13, 2019). Mr. Haqi’s family had tried through different means to get the victim’s family, who were distant relatives, to forgive their son. They had discussed the matter through a social worker who had been introduced to them by Mr. Haqi. A few hours before the implementation of the death sentence, they had gone to the victim’s family one last time to convince them not to carry out the sentence. In any event, prison officials did not inform Mr. Haqi’s family of the precise time of the execution. They were inadvertently informed by a phone call from one of Mr. Haqi’s ward mates of the time of the execution. According to a person who knew him, Mr. Haqi had asked the victim’s family to forgive him at the very last moment. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, June 13, and June 19, 2019). 

The victim’s family initiated Mr. Haqi’s death sentence at a time where his family were trying to lay the groundwork for his release through the Prosecutor’s Office and by posting collateral, as there were no plaintiffs in the case [as is necessary by law]. Prior to the death sentence implementation being initiated, Mr. Haqi had written multiple letters to the Judiciary officials asking for a resolution of his case and for an appeal of the judgment. Up until a few days before his execution, he was hopeful that the sentence would not be carried out and that he would be released. (Boroumand Center interview, May 19, and June 13, 2019). 

Mr. Haqi’s body was turned over to his family a few hours after the execution. (Boroumand Center interview, June 26, 2019).

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